Small Earthquake Nearby

A 2.4 magnitude earthquake struck Dalton and north Georgia last night.

It happened just before 8 p.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The epicenter was about three kilometers northwest of Dalton, underneath Interstate 75. It took place 18 kilometers underground.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Adele’s “25” Shatters Album Sales Records

Mic.Music | By: Tom Barns

It’s official: Adele is pop divinity. On Tuesday, Billboard and Nielsen Music confirmed Adele’s 25 has officially broken the all-time first-week sales record, previously set by NSYNC’s No Strings Attached in 1991. Many music critics had forecasted it, but few could have predicted it happening so soon.

NSYNC’s previous record stood at 2,416,000 over the course of a week. Monday’s tallies show that Adele has already sold at least 2,433,000, according to Billboard.

Those numbers are likely climb even higher. Adele still has three whole days of sales to tally and thousands more “Hello”s to shout to the world.

Source: Giphy

The highly anticipated 25 debuted to mixed but mostly positive reviews last week. However, no mediocre review claiming Adele only “retreads the same paths and explores the same tones,” as the Quietus wrote, was ever going to stand between fans and their queen.

If anything, her music’s familiarity and simplicity likely drew audiences even deeper into the album than had the album sought to follow pop’s current saturated, production-driven trends.

Not the first shattered record: This isn’t the only recent record Adele’s music has broken. The album’s first single, “Hello,” broke a Vevo record for most views in a 24-hour period and became the first single to sell a million downloads in a single week. Monday, Adele also broke Beyoncé’s iTunes record for fastest-selling album, moving 900,000 album downloads on the first day of her release.

Not permitting Spotify or Apple Music to stream her music likely helped Adele drive up her sales to a great degree. Taylor Swift did the same with her 1989 last year, earning herself one of the only platinum albums of 2014.

However, it’s not a strategy every artist can afford in today’s highly competitive environment. Simply withholding an album from streaming services is no way a guarantee a record-breaking run. Adele can, because she has a huge promotional apparatus and a team of the greatest songwriters in her back pocket. Yet even when all the instruments and spectacle fall away, she has one of the most continually heart-stopping voices in pop music.

This is what really counts in the quest to No. 1.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Group ask Haslam to Change Refugee Approach

Over 125 Nashville businesses, civic organizations and faith groups are asking Gov. Bill Haslam to change his stance on resettling Syrian refugees in Tennessee.

Haslam last week said he asked the federal government to suspend resettlement “until states can become more of a partner in the vetting process.”

On Tuesday, groups including the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee and the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition penned a letter to Haslam saying refugee resettlement will not make communities less safe.

“We believe it is morally reprehensible to turn our backs on Syrian refugees fleeing terror and violence,” the letter reads.

In a Monday speech to the Nashville Rotary Club, Haslam said Tennesseans are scared. But he also said he is learning the vetting process for refugees is “pretty good.”

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Cyber Monday to Draw 120 Million Shoppers

You can expect more deals online Monday if you didn’t get out to shop on Black Friday.

Cyber Monday sales are expected to be strong, with many retailers matching or exceeding their Black Friday sale prices. The National Retail Federation says Cyber Monday is becoming more and more popular as people prefer to avoid the crowds in stores.

This Black Friday, in-store sales fell more than $1 billion, but $2.5 billion was spent online. That’s up more than 14 percent since last year. People are expected to shell out even more for Cyber Monday.

“Black Friday isn’t as attractive as it used to be. Unless you want to get punched in the face, or be yelled at or fight the traffic for hours there is really no need nowadays for that because you can find the best same deals online,” said Brittney Castro, CEO of Financially Wise Women. is a hot stop for shoppers. They have special deals that change each hour and feature price cuts from hundreds of retailers.

Wal-Mart began its Cyber Monday sales at 8 p.m. Sunday, and is extending the offers all week. Wal-Mart has discounted more than 2,000 items on its website.

Some of the hot deals include $199 for an iPad mini at Wal-Mart and $300 off a Samsung TV at Target.

Cyber Monday began about a decade ago. Analysts say sales are strong during Cyber Monday because many people prefer to shop in the comfort of their own homes.

“It’s quicker, it’s easier,” Castro said. “We’re used to the on-demand lifestyle. Most of us are doing online shopping on a regular basis.”

121.3 million people are expected to shop online for Cyber Monday deals, according to the National Retail Federation.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Planned Parenthood Shooter to Appear In Court

Robert Dear, 57 (Courtesy: Colorado Springs Police Department)

The man accused of opening fire at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs was due for his first appearance in court Monday, as speculation continued to mount over what motivated the attack and how authorities would prosecute the suspect.

Robert Lewis Dear, 57, is accused of killing a police officer and two civilians who were accompanying separate friends to the clinic. The rampage touched off an hourslong standoff and shootout Friday that also left nine other people in the hospital. Dear’s court appearance will be done by video Monday afternoon in Colorado Springs.

Colorado Springs police on Sunday said they would not disclose any information on the motive for the attack, guaranteeing further speculation.

Dear has been described by acquaintances as a reclusive loner.

A law enforcement official said Dear told authorities “no more baby parts” after being arrested, part of a rambling statement that investigators are parsing to understand the reasoning.

The law enforcement official who recounted Dear’s statement spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not allowed to publicly discuss the ongoing investigation. The official said the “no more baby parts” comment was among a number of statements he made to authorities after his arrest, making it difficult to know his specific motivation.

Still, U.S. Attorney John Walsh said investigators have been in touch with lawyers from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights and National Security divisions, suggesting officials could pursue federal charges in addition to state homicide ones. One possible avenue is the 1994 Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, which makes it a crime to injure or intimidate clinic patients and employees.

“The case may fit the criteria for a federal domestic terrorism case, but based on my experience, I would be very surprised if this is not simply a local prosecution,” said Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers, a former U.S. attorney and state attorney general. “Murder charges will be more than adequate on the local level.”

Planned Parenthood said witnesses said the gunman was motivated by his opposition to abortion. Suthers said it’s unclear whether the shooting was intended to send an ideological message.

“That may or may not be the case here, we just have to see how things unravel,” Suthers said.

Whatever authorities decide is sure to be controversial, given the political murkiness of Dear’s statements and the debate over Planned Parenthood, which was reignited in July when anti-abortion activists released undercover video they said showed the group’s personnel negotiating the sale of fetal organs.

Planned Parenthood has said that Colorado’s 19 other clinics would be open for business Monday. The Colorado Springs clinic, though, has been heavily damaged and will be closed for an uncertain amount of time, said Vicki Cowart, the regional head of Planned Parenthood.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Three Arrested In Shelbyville Home Invasions

jail cell handcuffs_3

Three suspects have been arrested in connection with a series of home invasions in Bedford County.

Officials with the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office said the incidents happened between 7:49 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Witnesses described one of the suspects as a white female with long dark hair. Police said she knocked on the door and then entered with a gun at three of the four locations.

Residents were asked to lock their doors and report anything suspicious.

Three suspects, identified as 26-year-old Lorie Renee Freeman, 21-year-old Madison Louann Rutherford, and 26-year-old Justin Dale Blanton, have been taken into custody.

Investigators said Freeman, of Shelbyville is the main suspect. She has been charged with aggravated assault, aggravated robbery and two counts of aggravated burglary.

Freeman was held on a $400,000 bond; however, they haven’t had a chance to formally book her because she is reportedly being uncooperative.

Rutherford and Blanton were both charged with criminal responsibility for conduct of another and held on a $150,000 bond.

A motive for the home invasions remains unknown, but investigators said Freeman inquired about pills in one of the incidents.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tenn. Promise Helps Spike In Higher Ed Enrollment

The executive director of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s free-tuition program says it has contributed to the spike in students pursuing a higher education.

Tennessee Promise offers eligible high school seniors free tuition to a two-year community or technical college.

According to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, 50,699 first-time freshmen enrolled in a public higher education institution this year, compared with 46,030 last year.

Tennessee Promise Executive Director Mike Krause said Thursday that of the 21,706 students enrolled in community colleges, 16,291 are in the governor’s program.

Krause says the numbers are “reflective of a culture and attitude change in Tennessee about going to college.”

Tennessee Promise is a key component of Haslam’s “Drive to 55” initiative to increase the number of Tennesseans with a postsecondary credential to 55 percent by the year 2025.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment